Batsmen, Dupavillon sink Knights
A round-up of the Sunfoil Series matches on January 18, 2015
First-innings centuries from Imraan Khan and Cody Chetty, and an eight-wicket match haul from Daryn Dupavillon powered Dolphins to a 242-run victory against Knights in Kimberley. Dolphins, opting to bat, made the early running in the game, as they posted 452, despite a career-best 7 for 89 from the offspinner Patrick Botha. Their innings was built around a 168-run opening stand between Imraan (127) and Divan van Wyk (57), and a 97-run association for the fifth wicket between Chetty (101) and Khaya Zondo (51).
Dolphins then further enforced their advantage by bowling Knights out for 255 in 84 overs. None of their top-order batsmen could convert their starts, and their highest scorer was Michael Erlank (55*) at No.8. Dupavillon and Mathew Pillans claimed three wickets each, while Graham Hume and Keshav Maharaj shared the remaining four scalps between them.
With a massive 197-run lead in hand, Dolphins rode on van Wyk's second fifty of the game (65) to score 171 in 35 overs before declaring. It set Knights 369 for the win, but the team lasted only 45 overs in their second innings to be dismissed for 126. Dupavillon wrecked the team's top and middle order to fetch figures of 5 for 38, while Maharaj ran through the tail. Only three Knights batsmen made double-digit scores, as the team succumbed to their second defeat of the season.
An adventurous 36-ball 42 from Cobras No. 11 Dane Paterson gave Warriors a late scare, but the batsman was dismissed as he played a cut straight to gully with Cobras 17 short of their 322-run target in Port Elizabeth. In a match of swinging fortunes, Cobras had crossed 200 with six wickets in hand after a 159-run stand between Dane Vilas (84) and Sybrand Engelbrecht (72), but both batsmen were dismissed within the space of eight balls by Andrew Birch to spark a collapse. At 237 for 9, Cobras were on the door step of a loss. Then, Paterson hit six fours and two sixes during a rapid 68-run stand for the last wicket, but fell inches short of what would have been Cobras first win.
It was Birch whose 83-ball 88 from No. 8 had helped Warriors set a challenging total. After taking a tiny lead of four runs in the first innings, Warriors had been reduced to 176 for 6 in the second innings. Birch then added a vital 100 runs for the seventh wicket with Colin Ingram to turn the tide in their favour and helped the team finish on 317.
Both teams had struggled to score in the first innings. Cobras put Warriors in, struck in the first over, and picked up regular wickets as Warriors stumbled to 150 for 9. When all looked over, another last-wicket stand gave Warriors just enough breathing space by adding 53 runs. Cobras followed the same route - early collapse followed by late rescue - to finish on 199.
Titans' Heino Kuhn registered a career-best 244* in a rain-affected run-feast against Lions in Benoni, a match in which two other batsmen also hit centuries and six hit fifties. The match petered to a draw as Kuhn batted for 713 minutes, scoring 20 fours and a six, in Titans' patient response to Lions' 485 for 7, and helped his team take a first-innings lead. It was Kuhn's second century in three games this season. Qaasim Adams, the No. 6, joined Kuhn when Titans were still 112 behind Lions, but scored his sixth first-class hundred as the fifth-wicket stand took the score past 500.
After the Lions opted to bat, the in-form Stephen Cook led the batting with a strong opening partnership of 114 and went to score his third century in four matches this season. Bowlers toiled as Lions' lower-order piled on runs before Lions declared. However, Titans' batsmen repaid the favour to Lions' bowlers, batting out 169 overs before the match ended.